To Be or Not To Be (Yourself): On The Vanishing Half, The Glass Hotel, and Shakespeare

The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett and The Glass Hotel, by Emily St. John Mandel

In a moment of delusion in late 2018, I decided to commit to reading one Shakespeare play per month in 2019. And I mostly kept the goal. (The only one I didn’t finish was Much Ado About Nothing in December.) I had already read many of these in college, and even though I was wholly tired of the Bard by the time 2020 rolled around, the plays still felt fresh. I thought King Lear raw and relevant, Hamlet heartbreaking. Twelfth Night made me sad in a “Mean Girls” kind of way. (Please don’t make fun of your steward, Malvolio.) And my college notes from 1997-ish were helpful! Here’s what I read:

Continue reading “To Be or Not To Be (Yourself): On The Vanishing Half, The Glass Hotel, and Shakespeare”

Reading + Pandemic = Travel? On Amy and Isabelle, Beyond Babylon, and Being Well-Read & Well-Traveled

Amy and Isabelle, by Elizabeth Strout and Beyond Babylon, by Igiaba Scego

I’ve never really bought the “reading is like traveling” argument. Reading is reading, and travel is travel, and never the twain shall meet. (Reading an Elin Hilderbrand book is just as good as actually being on Nantucket? Girl, please.) On Instagram, I occasionally tussle with the idea of why we read – and inevitably, someone brings up “travel.” I’m not saying that is not their experience, but it has never been mine.

Until now! Because I can’t travel anywhere! We can time travel, though, so let me take you back a bit. Continue reading “Reading + Pandemic = Travel? On Amy and Isabelle, Beyond Babylon, and Being Well-Read & Well-Traveled”

The Mystery of Leadership: On Kingdomtide, The Secret Life of Bees, and Becoming a Curious Expert

kingdomtide and bees
Kingdomtide, by Rye Curtis & The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd

If anyone can be a leader, are all leaders experts?

Crazy times, huh? When you don’t encounter as many people in day-to-day life as you used to, you tend to think a bit more. I’m generally more of a pensive person – happy to observe the intricacies and tendrils of life unfolding – but since about mid-March, this pensive side has gone into high gear. Well, in one sense. There is a lot more time to “think.” What’s missing from my “I’m happy to watch” perch is, well, there’s nothing to watch. I can watch my husband and two teenagers, but that could get a little creepy. I watch the dog; she likes it. I go out for daily runs, but there’s not a lot of action out there, folks. So something that I now find interesting to watch is Twitter. Not in a mindless, scroll-yourself-silly kind of way – I try really hard to curb mindless social media scrolling – but, again, in an observational sort of way. Our tangible interactions with others are curbed, so we’re looking for leadership and engagement in different places. Maybe we’re seeking “expertise” too. Well, Twitter’s the place for those who have it – and those who think they do.

Continue reading “The Mystery of Leadership: On Kingdomtide, The Secret Life of Bees, and Becoming a Curious Expert”